monomania
n. excessive concentration of interest upon one particular subject or idea

The etymology of this word isn’t difficult to figure out: mono- is a Greek prefix meaning “one” (literally, “alone”), and -mania is a Greek suffix meaning “intense enthusiasm for” (literally, “madness,” and its negative connotations were easily seen in forms like “kleptomania” or “nymphomania,” before the term was defanged by media and marketers).

I like it simply because it seems like a cool word I could use often. When I’m working on a project, for instance, I tend to work up a monomaniacal drive to squash its bugs and get it perfect. You might call me a monomaniac.

§1507 · November 15, 2006 · Tags: , ·

2 Comments to “Wednesday’s Word: monomania”

  1. Ellen says:

    I always get a warm yummy feeling when I both know the word and have used it (monomaniacal bastard is a way cool insult…)

  2. howard says:

    You mean it’s got nothing to do with unhealthy obsessions toward Epstein-Barr?

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